The program of the Laughter Online University is excellent. It demonstrates well how to achieve competency in teaching laughter-based programs and becoming a Certified Laughter Wellness Facilitator. You have done a magnanimous job with a mountain of knowledge. Thank you for making this possible.

I have been a United Methodist Minister for 37 years. In the last seven of those years I continue to be the Senior Chaplain for a large retirement/nursing center community, and this is where I chose to lead the three laughter sessions that are required to complete the training. The sessions were thirty minutes in length. We had a total of 23 volunteer participants who are mostly wheelchair restricted.

The nursing staff did blood pressure screenings before and after the sessions. The results were remarkable. All twenty three residents’ blood pressures were lowered. The nursing staff was amazed.

The group participation was excellent. Even those who have very limited mobility joined in as they were able. Because most of these residents are restricted with use of arm motion, we did breathing exercises by placing our hands on our laps and raising them as far as possible while smiling and taking a deep breath in our noses. Then we lowered our hands/arms and exhaled through our mouths and relaxed. We did the breathing exercises after every two to three Laughter Wellness exercises. I was careful to only do approximately two to three deep breaths so no one would pass out. I also waited between breaths and told the participants to close their eyes and feel how good the laughter had been and experience the good oxygen.

The results at the end showed a more energized group than when they had come in. They were more lively and wanted to share with me humorous stories of their past or events which brought them joy. Many responded to the question, “How do you feel now that you have done these Laughter Wellness exercises”, by saying things like, “I am rejuvenated,” “I feel like a little boy again,” “I feel good all over.” Their moods appeared to focus on having fun. Most of these participants are normally withdrawn and non-talkative. Laughter Wellness is the resource which allowed them to start transcending their despair and depression. It has begun liberating these individuals to open their lives and move beyond withdrawal.

The most important thing is that our leadership staff now wants me to do this with all eight of our campuses. This covers a very large area in eight different towns and cities. I have a desire to see this in all of our locations.

I would like to add that I am currently enrolled in a Doctor of Ministry degree at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and there were many supplements and resources in the online training which will assist me in the remainder of my degree program. This is extremely valuable to me.

Thank you again for making this online training possible. May God continually bless you and use you as you touch many, many more lives.

Dennis Stalvey

Dennis Stalvey, Senior Chaplain
Magnolia Manor Nursing Center, Americus, Georgia, USA